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The Orange Flag Mystery

Posted by Mike on December 24th, 2010

Where, we wonder, do the orange flags come from?

The ones you’ll find at many of the crosswalks on Roosevelt Avenue Northeast, including the three new ones that went in mid-December.

The same afternoon the crosswalks were painted, the orange flags appeared.

Do Maple Leaf neighbors buy the materials and donate the pedestrian flags, as we’re been repeatedly told?

In the comments on an earlier post, David Miller of the Maple Leaf Community Council wrote:

FYI, the orange flags are provided not by the city but through the individual actions of fellow Maple Leaf residents. They buy these with their own money, so please be watchful if you see anyone forget and carry them down the block.

Peg Nielsen of the city transportation department confirmed: “I just spoke with the pedestrian program  folks and they say that the flags are not ours and must indeed be a community effort…so I guess you’ll need to do some more sleuthing!”

But Miller said he doesn’t personally know who the flag elves are. Nor do the folks at the Perkins School, who had lobbied for the new crosswalk between the school and Maple Leaf Ace Hardware.

Nor does Billie Bryan at the Blue Saucer, which has another new crosswalk at its corner. “I have no idea who puts them out there -much as I’d love to take the credit…somehow they always get replenished when they all disappear.”

Who knows where the orange flags originate?

Tags: Uncategorized

7 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 trickycoolj // Dec 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    There’s a community group that organizes these with instructions on how to make them online. I don’t recall who, but do remember finding the site with a friend a couple of years back as the flags started appearing in Ravenna near her house.

  • 2 Donna // Dec 27, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I LOVE the orange flag guerillas in our neighborhood. I know who does it, but don’t know if they want to be publicly acknowledged. I will ask next time I see one of them.

    I would just assume that everyone one you see is one member of this thoughtful and concerned couple and you can smile and be nice to them as a way of saying thanks.

  • 3 Dawn // Dec 27, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    The orange flags are a great idea. Unfortunately, I’ve see at least one family “claim” a flag for their own. They carry it proudly every morning on their way up 90th with their son and daughter on their way to either school or the bus stop. Then, roll it up and carry it back down 90th to their home.

  • 4 another Eric // Dec 27, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Dawn, did you talk to them? Maybe the folks you say “claimed” the flag made one for themselves, apparently it’s cheap and pretty easy.

  • 5 Dawn // Dec 28, 2010 at 9:21 am

    another Eric, you are absolutely right. I hadn’t considered that this family might be very crafty and made their own flag. In which case, let me commend them on their ability to replicate the orange flags with such amazing attentiont to detail!

    The construction was a flawless replica and they even thought to include 90th and Roosevelt across the flags field in the exact same handwriting as those provided by the neighborhood benefactors.

  • 6 Mike // Dec 28, 2010 at 11:20 am

    It’s true, though, that some neighbors make their own (unlettered) flags and carry them about.
    We still want to talk to a flag elf….

  • 7 another Eric // Dec 29, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Great reply Dawn, love the sarcasm.

    Since you see these nice folks every morning proudly toting their ill-gotten flag to and fro on their walks, perhaps you could berate them personally instead of passively on this blog.

    Happy New Year!